A preliminary hearing for the suspected gang member accused of shooting to death a 23-year-old Venice youth pastor was scheduled Wednesday for later this month and prosecutors were still considering the death penalty for another suspected gang member charged with killing two teens in June 2011 at a Venice park.
A preliminary hearing for Kevin Dwayne Green, 29, had been scheduled for Wednesday but was moved to Aug. 21 after his defense attorney requested more time to collect and review evidence. Green is charged with one count of murder with gun use and street gang allegations in connection with the shooting death , a Venice High School graduate, former "Youth of the Year" with the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and youth pastor at a church in Compton.
Deputy District Attorney Teresa Magno of the Hardcore Gang Division did not object to the request to reschedule the preliminary hearing, which will determine if there is enough evidence for Green to stand trial.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano asked Green whether he agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing within 60 days of his arraignment. Green made a brief appearance in court to waive the right.
Duncan was shot and killed June 4 about 10:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue. Prosecutors said that Green was among a group of men who allegedly drove up to Duncan and his girlfriend, who were standing on the street. They jeered at Duncan's girlfriend and shouted a gang name as one of them fired a single shot, striking Duncan in the head, according to the district attorney's office.
Green also was charged with a separate count of second degree robbery in connection with an incident that occurred May 21, and with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Green is being held on $2 million bail. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 50 years to life in prison.
The Los Angeles Police Department had announced that a second 22-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the slaying, but no charges were filed and he has since been released.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are still weighing whether or not to seek the death penalty against Michael Anthony Mariscal, 20, who is , Magno said Wednesday.
Mariscal, who is being held without bail, has been charged with capital murder for the slayings of Salvador Diaz Jr. and Alan Mateo, both 18. He also is accused of wounding a third man in the broad daylight attack.
Mariscal was ordered to trial after a one-day preliminary hearing May 2 that also was held before Solorzano. Two men who survived the attack identified Mariscal as the man who approached them at the park and asked where they were from, according to court documents. The group of young men said they weren't gang members, Mateo jokingly asked Mariscal where he was from and Mariscal allegedly responded by saying he was from a Culver City gang before opening fire, court transcripts said. A woman who identifeid Mariscal in court said she was driving by the park shortly after the shooting and saw Mariscal holding a gun as he walked over to a nearby car that drove him way, according to the court transcript.
Officer Ray Moreno, a member of the LAPD's Pacific Division's Gang Enforcement Detail, said that Mariscal was a documented member of the Culver City Boys gang, which is also known as the Culver City 13. As of June 2001, the gang had about 285 members and Mariscal's gang moniker was "Poste," Spanish for "light post," Moreno testified during the preliminary hearing.
Mariscal, who has pleaded not guilty, has a Sept. 18 pre-trial hearing scheduled.
Magno has been assigned as the lead prosecutor in both cases.
Diaz had graduated from the Venice Skills Center just before he was killed and Mateo was set to graduate from Venice High School the day after the shooting. The teens were with three other young men smoking at the bleachers in the park when the shooting occurred.